The Physics and Psychophysics of Music: An Introduction

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Springer Science & Business Media, Dec 15, 2008 - Science - 242 pages
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This introductory text deals with the physical systems and biological processes that intervene in what we broadly call 'music.' It analyzes what physical properties of sound patterns are associated with what psychological sensations of music, and describes how these sound patterns are actually produced in musical instruments, how they propagate through the environment, and how they are detected by the ear and interpreted in the brain. Without using complicated mathematics, the author weaves a close mesh between the disciplines of acoustics, psychophysics, and neurobiology, offering an integral picture of not only the science of music, but also the 'music of science', that is, the beauty and excitement of scientific research, reasoning and understanding. This text should be accessible to undergraduate-level students, whether from science, arts or engineering schools, but it should also be useful to professional musicians, physics educators, acoustical engineers and neuroscientists. The fourth edition incorporates recent research on tone generation in musical instruments and latest findings in brain science.

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A Multidisciplinary Overview
to 2 Sound Vibrations Pure Tones and the Perception of Pitch
to 3 Sound Waves Acoustic Energy and the Perception of Loudness
to 4 Generation of Musical Sounds Complex Tones and the Perception of Timbre
to 5 Superposition and Successions of Complex Tones and the Integral Perception of Music
Appendix I Some Quantitative Aspects of the Bowing Mechanism
Appendix II Some Quantitative Aspects of Central Pitch Processor Models
Appendix III Some Remarks on Teaching Physics and Psychophysics of Music

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References to this book

Statistics in Musicology
Jan Beran
Limited preview - 2003
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About the author (2008)

The author is a space scientist of international reputation with a close and active relation with music (he studied organ with the late maestros Héctor Zeoli in Buenos Aires and Hans Jendis in Göttingen), who organized and directed the international workshops on the Neuropsychological Foundations of Music at the Carinthian Music Festivals in Ossiach, Austria. These workshops, held regularly between 1973 and 1985, have been credited as being the originators of the interdisciplinary approach to the study of music perception. In 2007 he was invited to deliver the opening lecture on Music and the Evolution of Human Brain Function at the international congress Mozart and Science in Baden/Vienna, Austria.

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